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      Frank McGinty     author and teacher

Another Life 

                                    Another Life by Frank McGinty

This is my first novel. It's set in a modern high school and is about a girl who has a rather unusual, but terrifying, problem.

Click here to order 'Another Life' now

Click here to read an extract

From the publisher, Piccadilly Press

“Melissa is popular and surrounded by friends. She is great at sport,music and drama and attends a homework club every evening. She has it all.
       But suddenly things start going wrong . . . Melissa isn’t acting like herself. In her dreams, she is visited by a less fortunate girl named Jane, who lives in a stark housing estate on another side of the city.  Jane's home life is burdened by poverty, substance abuse and conflict.
       The visions of Jane begin to disturb Melissa more and more, and slowly she starts to lose her concentration and often seems in a trance.
       Her friends are really worried. Why is this happening? How can they help? And who is this Jane who doesn't want to leave her alone . . .?”  


Reviews

 

Children’s Books UK (www.cbuk.info)
“Jane’s relief from her life comes at night when she is peacefully asleep. She can forget about her druggie Dad and her forgetful brother Barry and she can block out the painful memories of her mother’s death.

All of this is set to change however as the reader is introduced to Mel.

Mel goes to the best school in Glasgow and enjoys all the privileges it has to offer. Yet money can’t buy happiness and Mel is not happy, despite being one of the most popular girls at school. Mel keeps seeing things, namely snapshots of Jane and her miserable life. But what is it that connects Jane and Mel?

Frank McGinty demonstrates a great sense of familiarity, ease and understanding of teenagers in this novel. Writing with humour and compassion he shows the reader each end of the social spectrum.

The novel raises key moral and social questions, exploring through the narrative how Jane’s life becomes ‘ruthlessly superimposed’ onto Mel’s, showing the reader the very real and sometimes dangerous consequences of having ‘another life’.”

Dare Magazine
“This is a great read. Hard hitting stuff, full of drama, insight, and plenty of tear jerking moments. You’ll read and read and read and read, and it’ll stay with you long after you’ve put it down. Great stuff.”

Mizz Magazine
“Melissa’s got it all. But then she starts having upsetting dreams about a girl called Jane who lives in a poor area of town. These nightmares start to take over her life. So who is Jane and what does she want? This mystery is 100% gripping and we bet you’ll be racing your crew to the end.”

Red House Children’s Books
“Two lives - one compelling story.”

 

And here's what was said by members of the Teenage Readers Panel (selected from all over the UK):

Reviewer: Alex Lainsbury
Melissa has the perfect life. She has a great home life, she is popular, good at school and great at sports too. But then something goes wrong – dreams involving a less fortunate girl called Jane start to plague her.

Another Life is an engrossing book about a problem that can be very real for some people. Frank McGinty’s writing makes the story very life-like, and he keeps you guessing until the end, where there is a surprising twist to the tale. I really like this book.

Reviewer: Lizzie Naylor
The plot and the characters made me want to keep reading and I turned every page with anticipation. The story is very well written. The events surrounding the end of the book shocked me and weren’t all what I was expecting, but you will have to read it for yourself to find out what it was that surprised me!

Reviewer: Natalie Reeves
Another Life by Frank McGinty was a great read. It had imagination, a great and unexpected twist at the end and plenty of mystery! As soon as you thought you had an explanation for what was happening, something else came up that threw you off the scent again.

Overall the book was great and whoever can make you feel so many different emotions in just one book deserves a medal. I will look out for more of Frank McGinty’s books . . .I hope to see more of his work as this book was superb!


Read an extract?

Here’s how ‘Another Life’ begins:

                               Prologue

http:///Home.htmlSaturday morning! The blue sky and the sunlight that filtered through her bedroom window indicated to Jane that the heat wave was holding. She got out of bed, opened thewindow wide, and breathed in the fresh morning air. Today she had a reason to feel good. Today was her sixteenth birthday.

   She took a long, leisurely shower, and let her mind drift back to past birthdays.  Family birthdays were different when her mother was alive. Just like Christmas, only on birthdays it was Christmas for one. Presents were wrapped and left overnight on the settee, so that she or her brother, Barry, would see them first thing in the morning. Later in the day there would be a special meal, with all kinds of treats and always a cake with just the right number of candles.

   Jane sighed contentedly as she dried her hair. She laughed to herself when she remembered that on her birthdays she usually ended up feeling sick! During the day she’d  tuck into the birthday chocolates, and at dinner there would be her favourite dessert, mint Vienetta.  Afterwards she would go with the family and a few chosen friends to the cinema or the bowling alley or whatever.Then she had to oblige her parents by stuffing her face with a huge wedge of birthday cake. All for a good cause, of course!

   As she slipped into her top and shorts, Jane’s feeling of contentment suddenly turned to rage as the manner of her Mum’s death came flooding back to her. She quickly turned her thoughts back to birthdays, but her anger didn’t pass.  Her dad and Barry had forgotten her last two birthdays. After all she had done for them. Not only was she taken for granted, she was completely forgotten too! But she had high hopes for this birthday. She’d dropped hints for weeks so that they could get their act together.

   She pulled on her sandals and tiptoed quietly downstairs. She was always the first up, and she didn’t like to disturb the others. When she opened the living room door her heart sank.

   There wasn’t a present in sight, but it was more than that - it was the state of the place. The coffee table was covered with empty beer cans. Cigarette ends had spilled over the single ashtray and littered the carpet, like spent cartridges from a machine gun. A bottle of cheap fortified wine had toppled next to one of the chairs and the stale stench from the damp patch was nauseating. The forlorn remnants of a Chinese takeaway were scattered everywhere, making their own contribution to the foul atmosphere.

   Dad brought home some of his cronies from the pub and they had a night of it, she thought. Again.

   She knew that if she didn’t clear up the mess it would lie there festering away. If only Mum could see this! she said to herself.

   I’m glad I slept through it all, Jane thought as she began clearing up. She had gone to bed early the night before, and as usual had slept soundly. The only time she had when she didn’t think about anything was when she was sleeping.

                                             Chapter 1

http:///Home.htmlAt 8:35 on Monday morning the Underground Station at Hillhead in the north side of the city was disgorging its contents into Byres Road. It was the usual mixture of university students, office workers, and school kids, in no less than three different uniforms. Even at this hour the sun was bathing the area in warmth.

A group of five students, wearing the distinctive blue, white and grey of Hillside High School, met outside the station, then, without bothering to walk the twelve metres or so to the pedestrian crossing, picked their way across the busy two-lane road. As usual they simply ignored the hoots of angry motorists.

   "Let’s stop at Greggs, I’m starving," said Victoria, a pleasant faced, rather plump girl in her Fourth Year.

   "You’re always starving," said Nick, one of the two boys in the group.

   "It’s this heat," protested Victoria, although even she couldn’t see any logic in her reply. "What about you, Mel - fancy anything? My treat."

   "Um . . . yeah, thanks. I’ll have a chocolate doughnut."

   "Anyone else?" asked Victoria.

   The rest shook their heads. Nick said, "I’ll get my own." Victoria was the expansive, gregarious type, always looking after everyone - ‘Mother Earth’ as Raj called her - and Nick didn’t like to take advantage of her.

   They left the bakery and made their way up Ruthven Street to the school at the top of the hill. As usual they took their time passing Athole Gardens, a compact yet spacious public park in the centre of the avenue, which swept up and around in a circle.

   "Uh-oh, don’t look now, folks, but Mel’s in one of her dwams," said Nick, in a stage whisper that was intentionally too loud to be ignored.

   "Over to you, Victoria," said Julie.

   "Yeah," said Raj, "get your crystals in gear!"

   Mel, suddenly pale, had stopped and was gazing at the Gardens with a faraway look on her face. 

   "Take it easy, Mel," said Victoria gently. "Now. Tell me. What exactly is it you’re seeing? Mel! Mel!"

   Mel was aware that she was still next to Athole Gardens, but the voices of her friends seemed strangely distant.  Gradually her friends themselves seemed distant, and frozen in time. Some strange force was pulling Mel deep into her own mind, away from the outside world. She was powerless to resist; she was drawn deeper and deeper, until it was as if she had become a disembodied spirit who was looking in on a new life that was opening out in front of her.

   The front door burst open as though a heavy goods van from the nearby motorway had somehow lost its way and charged up the path into Jane’s house. Jane was roused from a dream of two weeks spent in the Maldives, which the presenter of the holiday programme flickering in the corner seemed to think was well within everyone’s budget. She instinctively knew what had caused the commotion.

   "Jane!" called a distressed female voice. "We need you. Quick!"

   In the hallway, Jane was confronted by her brother, who staggered in, supported on the arms of his girlfriend, Sara. Barry looked even more pale and drawn than usual. His long, slicked-back, dark hair was dripping with blood and his bruised right ear was at least twice its normal size. His earlobe was ripped, and the gold earring he always wore was now painfully embedded in the mess. His grey Kappa T- shirt was also drenched in blood. Some of the blood had made its way on to Sara’s faded denim jacket. Jane stared for a moment, contemplating her next move.

(End of extract)

What’s happening to Mel? Victoria thinks her crystals will provide the answer, but will they? And how is poor Jane going to cope with her dad and her brother?

To find out you’ll have to read Another Life!

Order it today from Amazon.co.uk (Great Britain)

 

Or order it from your local bookstore

ISBN 1853407038
(The ISBN will help your bookseller locate the book or
order it if it's out of stock.)

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(c) Frank McGinty 2005